Manu Ginobili and the San Antonio Spurs (without Tim Duncan) suffered their worst loss since 2013 at the hands of the Golden State Warriors last month. It was a 30-point massacre that featured 26 Spurs turnovers and 37 points from Steph Curry.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich recently poured out his affection for the kind of basketball the Warriors are playing, even using words like “envious” (ESPN). Manu Ginobili followed suit, talking about the Warriors with an Argentine newspaper, La Nacion:
I know everyone is talking about how great Golden State is and we found out about it the hard way. People wonder what it would take to stop them and it really doesn’t seem possible. Obviously Curry can’t have a good night. But the rest of the team can’t have a good night either, like they had against us and in so many other games. I don’t know if there’s a way to beat them, but for now I don’t care. I would in May or June. Beating them now only counts as one win, nothing more. They are going through a great stretch, playing truly extraordinary basketball and showing tremendous confidence and team spirit. But we’ll try to figure out how to beat them only when it’s do-or-die time.
The Spurs can best recognize the greatness of the Warriors because in many ways it’s a mirror image. They understand how great Golden State really is because they’re of the same mold, and frankly that’s what makes the Spurs the most viable candidates to dethrone the defending champs. But as Ginobili and Pop both know well by now, that’s much easier said than done.